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Oshtemo Twp. looks into relationship with Kzoo Co. Sherrif's Dept.

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Crime data doesn't come easy in Oshtemo Township.

From domestic violence calls to traffic stops, the township doesn't know for sure whether it's getting the most police protection for its money, so it's undergoing an independent study.

The township says its goal is to really figure out what they're getting and what they need when it comes to police protection, because they say under their agreement with the county right now, they have no idea.

Currently, Oshtemo Township spends more than $800,000 on 7 Kalamazoo County Sheriff's deputies.

But Trustee Dusty Farmer says there's some concern that the township could be getting more for its money.

"So, we were trying to decide if we were spending that money correctly to get a desirable outcome, meaning lower crime rates, better times for the calls," he said.

The problem is that Farmer says the county can't provide that data.

"We're having a little difficulty there, because the county simply doesn't have the resources to provide that data collection service to us," Farmer said.

So, the township is left wondering just what kind of protection it's actually getting.

"We need to be able to collect data including call times, requests for police, the actual activities that are happening; be it domestic calls, criminal calls whatever--we need to be able to not only get that data but then analyze it," Farmer said.

The township has tossed around ideas for changing the way it does business--everything from contracting with the City of Kalamazoo to starting its own police force.

"We are willing to work with any entity, so now would I say we want to end contract with county? Absolutely not. Because we're not sure what the future holds for data collection and if we can work that out, then by all means, we would like to do that," Farmer said.

Starting in mid-May, the township will begin an independent study to figure out where to go from here.

Newschannel 3 spoke with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department, and the Undersheriff says he gives reports to the Township Supervisor every month, including the number and types of calls.

As for the township's study itself, that's expected to wrap up this summer.